“I still can’t find my wallet,” yelled Ari, 22.
Now, how is this my problem? It’s not my problem. But in the same way nobody in the house may rest if I can’t figure out how to scan something in the printer, nobody can rest if Ari can’t find his wallet.
We used to do this to my mother. It’s like ovaries are actually sonar detectors. I used to call Mom when I didn’t even live at home anymore and ask her where I’d left things. In my own home. She knew me so well she could usually figure out which coat pocket I’d left a set of keys in, or where I’d set something down while talking on the phone. It seems I got her hands, her smile and her ovarian sonar.
“Go out and check the cars,” I told him.
“I’ve already checked the cars. It’s not there,” he said, mildly exasperated that I wouldn’t believe him. I gave him that look that reminds him he’s a lot closer to being born yesterday than I am.
“Go out and check….”
He was heading back out to check the cars, because he knew I wouldn’t even begin to help until I’d seen with my own eyes that he’d ruled out the cars. He came back in holding his wallet.
“Told ya so,” I said.
“I couldn’t see it last night. And I wanted to go buy beer,” he said, ignoring my credit-taking initiative.
“Poor baby. A Saturday night without beer,” I laughed.
“Oh, I got beer. I just called Sarah.” I gave him the look.
Sarah lives across the street. Together with her brother, the four kids have grown up together. When we moved in, Ari and Sarah were not quite two years old. They all looked so much alike when they were younger that when I had all four of them with me, people assumed they were siblings.
Their lives have been entwined ever since, two mothers fluidly overseeing mealtimes, cottage trips, school runs and parties. The line is so blurred that to this day, if someone asks Sarah how many brothers she has, she says three.
“You mooched beer from Sarah?” I now asked Ari.
“Well, Taryn was at work and you were out. I really looked everywhere and couldn’t find my wallet. Everybody was meeting on line for a game, and I wanted beer. So I called Sarah.”
“And asked her what?”
“I told her she had to come with me to the store and buy me beer,” he explained patiently.
I pictured what I knew had happened. He’d called Sarah, explained his predicament, and she had sighed. She’d then put aside whatever she was doing and come over and got in the car to go with him to the beer store.
This is the same girl who, when the two were away in residence for their first years of school, coordinated each of them taking first day of school photos to send to the two mothers, who were no longer be able to take them.
Have I mentioned how much I love Sarah?
“I can’t believe you did that,” I told him, though of course I believed he’d done that. “You make sure you pay her back today.”
“She said not to worry about it,” said Ari.
“You pay her back now!”
I might have yelled this.
“I already did! Geez!”
The only thing better than your mom finding your wallet is your friend buying you beer.